Social action

A problem of resources, relationships or identity? Knife crime & the Church

Knife crime and youth violence are urgent and pressing issues in my south London community. As a parent of three secondary school-age children, it’s never far from my thoughts.  Like so many families, our children have been affected by muggings and threats. This week in my youth group we held a raw and honest session looking… Continue reading A problem of resources, relationships or identity? Knife crime & the Church

Ethics & Christian living

Why churches manage people badly (and what can be done about it)

In recent years, the church frequently has to respond to the scandal and upset created by safeguarding failures and other cases of serious malpractice. As we all know, these scandals powerfully undermine the integrity of the church’s witness. One key factor in ecclesiastical failures that is frequently downplayed is the poor state of basic ‘human… Continue reading Why churches manage people badly (and what can be done about it)

Social commentary

Streatham: twisted religion cannot destroy loving faith in community

I have lived in Streatham, South London for 17 years. Its where all my three children have been raised and go to school. Its where we go to church, where my wife works and where countless friends live.  We are proud to say that Streatham is our community. Yesterday, a young man attacked members of… Continue reading Streatham: twisted religion cannot destroy loving faith in community

Theology & Church

If the Church has GOOD news to share, why are our websites so BAD?

A friend of mine was staying in a Somerset village last year over the weekend of Palm Sunday. He wanted to go to a service so looked up the website of the local church. It told him the service that Sunday started at 10.30am. Except that the website was wrong.  The service did not start… Continue reading If the Church has GOOD news to share, why are our websites so BAD?

Recommended books, Sport, Theology & Church

‘David Sheppard: Batting for the Poor’ – by Andrew Bradstock [review]

David Sheppard scored more runs in a single season, and more centuries as a student, than anyone else in the history of Cambridge University cricket.  Such was his talent that he was selected for England’s 1950/51 Ashes tour of Australia at the end of his first year as a student. But, at the same time… Continue reading ‘David Sheppard: Batting for the Poor’ – by Andrew Bradstock [review]

Ethics & Christian living

Not being afraid in a time of festive anxiety

All of us have many things that they can worry about – whether its money, work, family or tricky relationships. For some, fears grow into serious conditions which seriously impair their lives.  When I became a parent it hugely expanded the scope and range of things I could be worried about. Anxiety easily becomes the… Continue reading Not being afraid in a time of festive anxiety

Ethics & Christian living

Words every church should have above their exit…

I recently visited a Salvation Army church centre in one of the poorest parts of London.  It was a midweek day and the building was buzzing with various community activities. I met fantastic people doing great work in their neighbourhood: inclusive, deeply committed and fired by a passionate faith in Jesus. Earlier, I had noticed these… Continue reading Words every church should have above their exit…

Theology & Church

Martin Luther King, breaking silos and facing fear: the search for synthesis #3

In the last article, I shared two theological ideas which have helped my search for synthesis between conservative and liberal Christianity. In this series' last article, I focus on the person whose practice of this synthesis has most inspired me in my journey. Although Martin Luther King's popular legacy has been secularised, his life and ministry is… Continue reading Martin Luther King, breaking silos and facing fear: the search for synthesis #3

Theology & Church

How Tom Wright and Lesslie Newbigin have helped my search for synthesis #2

Many years ago my father-in-law passed on some advice to me “When you speak about your faith, you should always mention the ‘J-word’. Never be afraid to talk about Jesus.” I remember later sharing this with someone at the church where my work was based. While we were speaking, someone else overheard me talking about… Continue reading How Tom Wright and Lesslie Newbigin have helped my search for synthesis #2

Theology & Church

The problem with urban theology: the search for synthesis #1

Over the last week there has been an interesting exchange of articles between Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley and Ian Paul, who writes the popular Christian blog Psephizo.  It focused on the theology of mission in deprived areas, and whether or not Christians need to ‘take Jesus’ into these areas. It is good to… Continue reading The problem with urban theology: the search for synthesis #1